Recently, the Captain Boomer Collective delivered an unexpected object just steps away from the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris: a beached whale. Well, it’s actually a fiberglass statue, though anyone approaching the accompanying “scientists,” life-like stench, and mass of the creature is in for an experience much like the real-life occurrence. The point is to offer both mystery and hint at the real-world problems of humans’ destruction of natural ecosystems.
“We place the statue on the beach during the night and prepare bleeding and smell,” they explain. “In the morning the carcass is fenced, to keep people at a distance. We create of circle of about seven meters around the statue. Within this perimeter, the beaching is a true fact. The actors within the fence never drop their cover. They are scientific and official figures of a fictitious organization, the North Sea Whale Association. Fully equipped they conduct scientific experiments. Measuring the carcass, taking samples of organs and skin, preparing the cutting. When they interact with the crowd or the press it is about possible causes of death, the history of the animal, its lifestyle and why it beaches.”
Past “beachings” have taken place in London; Valencia, Spain; Scheveningen, Holland; Oostende, Belgium; Antwerp, Belgium; Duisburg, Germany; and Rennes, France.
Photos by ARTS in Paris and Captain Boomer Collective.